Politicians In, FDNY/NYPD and Clergy Out For 9/11 Ceremony

On September 11, 2001, the first official casualty was Reverend Mychal Judge. He was killed as the South Tower collapsed and debris flew into the lobby of the North Tower where he stood. His body was carried out of the rubble by members of the New York Police Department and Fire Department of New York.

In the end, 343 firefighters and paramedics died that day. 23 NYPD officers were killed.

And yet, on the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, neither the clergy nor the NYPD/FDNY are invited to the memorial service taking place at Ground Zero.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg defended his decision to exclude clergy and first responders, saying that the limited space at Ground Zero was being reserved for the families of the victims.  (There is, however, space for many politicians and elected officials to attend.)  And while this group certainly deserves to be present, so does the group that put their own lives on the line, not only on September 11, 2001 but for months afterwards as the recovery effort proceeded.  Bloomberg also stated that first responders have never been formally invited to the Ground Zero ceremonies, which is technically correct — but in years past, the first responders have always simply shown up.

The exclusion of clergy is another matter. The intent for the ceremony to be fully non-denominational removes the uncomfortable religion angle from the event — if you include Christian prayers, do you include Muslim? — and yet clergy, too, gave their lives while helping others on 9/11, and have spent countless hours since consoling and counselling those left behind.

The NYPD is holding their own ceremony of commemoration at Lincoln Center on September 8, where both officers and clergy will be present and prayers offered. But ultimately on the morning of September 11, on the anniversary of the date they ran in to the burning buildings others were fleeing in order to try to save lives, the first responders and those who tried to comfort them will not be permitted to pay their respects on that same piece of ground.

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Photo credit: ADL999 on Flickr


Nessie B.
Nessie B6 years ago

Politicians (Bloomberg and Obama included) are showing themselves, as usual, to be more concerned with their own importance. Of course, families of the victims should be present, but FDNY and PDNY who were involved in the response and recovery effort are victims as well.
I am so sick of politicians taking care of their own, instead of the people who elected them to serve.

Me S.
Me S.6 years ago


Shut your pie-hole! Many of those attending would like clergy to be there. I don't give one shit if you think God is imaginary (your sense of self is just as imaginary, cognitively speaking). Just because you CHOOSE to see God as something that should only exist if it were as material as we are, floating, and have 2 arms and 2 legs...and got disappointed when you discovered that immature and childish conception didn't pan out, doesn't mean that there isn't a God of some sort that exists separate from your conceptions.

The problem isn't if God exists, but defining what God is.

Oh, and I like your naive spin on statistics...no one hears about the clergy who DON'T molest children, just the ones that do. So you make the cognitive error in assuming that ALL of them are. VERY stupid! You ever heard of confirmation bias much? Sampling error?

Probably not. You probably rather spend your time in your mom's basement wasting your life being angry and playing video games.

And if it wasn't for politicians that you snidely reference, you probably wouldn't still be alive to write your asinine opinions.

DH Clone
Andrew Carvin6 years ago

Mayor Michael Bloomberg excluding clergy = GOOD. I don't want some imaginary sky pie god worshiping charlatan (who statistically is very likely to molest children in his spare time) to preside over a real event in reality wherein people who do not ascribe to his idiotic imaginary sky pie god beliefs were victims of 9-11.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg excluding first responders = WHAT? Not enough room my #$@!. Those fat @#$ #$@$#$!#@$!#$%@#$#$! can go sit in the bleachers. The first responders need preference because THEY were the ones risking their lives, not some fat @#$! piece of crap in a suit who pushes paper all day, and has never gotten anything more serious than a paper cut.

@#$! the politicians.

Debbie Wasko
Past Member 6 years ago

If I were a family member of those who died that day, I would SUPPORT AND ATTEND THE LINCOLN CENTER 9/8 EVENT INSTEAD, leaving plenty of space available for Bloomberg and his like.

Judith Corrigan
Judith Corrigan6 years ago

I wasn't aware that politicians risked their lives on that tragic day.I am sure that the families of the those that died would like to share the day with those that were there or lost colleages/friends.Who do the politicians think they are to put themselves above people who were actually there?

Grace Adams
Grace Adams6 years ago

How can anybody hold any large crowded public ceremony WITHOUT at least police if not firemen and medics for crowd control? They should certainly be invited even if it has to be a bus man's holiday for them.

Martha Eberle
Martha Eberle6 years ago

A bad decision to not include first responders.

I've been dreading this day. The U.S. always makes too much of these "anniversaries", whatever they may be. This should not be a circus, where the media goes over and over the events and makes themselves "stars", which will happen. The appropriate remembrance of this terrible event in our history, is that Pres. Obama should ask the people of America to stand wherever they are at a certain hour in a minute of silence, reflecting on the families left to mourn their dead.

Ernie Miller
william Miller6 years ago

if it is that important to them let them fill the streets around the cerimony and hold their vidual. I know there were a lot of people killed that day and it should be for the families of the victoms. I think out Government have made a sham of the entire situation from using false information to invade Irak to killing innocent victoms all around the world to build a stronger safer Corperate World. nothing that has happened since the attack has been about the safety of the people it has been about the safety of buisness around the world and their proffets.

Lynne B.
Lynne Buckley6 years ago

This disgusts me. They should be there, far more than any politician.

Marsha S.
Grover Syck6 years ago

That the churches are not there is good.

The fire and police should be there. They lost many of their own in the collapse of the buildings.